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Amber Rodibaugh

Tipton School Board - Madison Township

Preferred Contact Information

amber.rodibaugh@gmail.com

Years as Tipton County Resident?

13 years

Education Background

Butler University, B.A. with High Honors, Journalism & Public Relations

Winamac Community High School, Valedictorian

Community Involvement

Tipton County Foundation

  • Board of Directors – 2015 to present
  • Grant-making Chair – 2015 to present
  • Grant-making Committee, 2011 to present

T.E.S.O. (Tipton Elementary PTO)

  • President: 2012-13 
  • Officer Team 2013-14

Tipton Community School Corporation

  • T.E.S. Accelerated Reader Project Leader 2018-20
  • Tipton County Robotics Club Coach (Tipton Elementary, Tri-Central Elementary partnership) — 2017
  • Broadband Planning (High Ability) Committee - 2013 to 2018
  • Founding member of Friends of Tipton FFA
  • Weekly small group language arts leader: Kindergarten & First Grade (2.5 years)
  • Task Force to bring SRO to TCSC

Other

  • Oasis Community Church, Children’s Ministry Volunteer
  • Good Shepherd Food Pantry
  • 4-H Volunteer

Leadership Experience

Tipton County Foundation

  • Board of Directors – 2015 to present
  • Grant-making Chair – 2015 to present
  • Imagine Grants for Tipton County Education

T.E.S.O. (Tipton Elementary PTO)

  • President: 2012-13 
  • Officer Team 2013-14

Tipton Community School Corporation 

  • T.E.S. Accelerated Reader Project Leader 2018-20
  • Tipton County Robotics Club Coach (Tipton Elementary, Tri-Central Elementary partnership) — 2017

UPS

  • Supervisor, Marketing/Sponsorships, 4-State Region: 2002-2004 "

1. ​ What is your number one reason for wanting to serve on the school board?

I am deeply committed to the school system as my four children are currently enrolled (one in high school, one in middle school and two in elementary school).  For the past ten years, I have invested countless volunteer hours to increase the educational opportunities and environment at TCSC. Serving on the school board is a natural next step as I continue the work of developing the value of education and its far-reaching benefits for our community.

Through work on many committees and projects, I have actively created and fostered relationships with administrators and teachers. I have sought avenues to connect resources, funding and volunteers to projects that impact daily student and teacher experiences.

In 2017, I led the Tipton County Foundation’s Imagine Grants for Education initiative.  Along with Foundation staff, we aimed to inspire our teachers to dream big!  As a result of this effort, Tipton Community Schools built a Virtual Reality Lab, obtained inspiring, world-class training and greatly enhanced technology offerings in the elementary school.

Over the past two years, I have been a weekly classroom fixture in Tipton Elementary School as “Mrs. A.R.” Using the Accelerated Reader program, I worked alongside teachers and school administration to instill a love of reading into our students.

I am a believer that education, in all forms, is the vehicle to enhance one’s life, community, and society as a whole.  TCSC is the foundation of our community.  Becoming a member of the school board will allow me to capitalize on my experiences as a parent, a proven community leader and a committed school volunteer to focus on enriching the educational offerings to current and future generations of students.

2. What role does policy play/have in the function of the board? 

The School Board Policies and Guidelines Manual addresses specifically and directly the purpose, duties and ethical expectations of individual members as well as the entire functioning body.  Adhering to policies and procedures ensures that all parties are justly served and members of the organization continue to work in the same direction.  

As addressed in the “Philosophy” section of the School Board Policies and Guideline Manual, the school board is responsible for carrying out the school’s obligation to offer high quality public education while balancing the community’s wishes and ambitions.

The Board is required to listen to and assess the community’s desires. At the same time, it is also charged with the responsibility to discern the best course of action for the school.

​3. What do you think is the biggest issue facing your district? 

Public education, and the way it is offered, is evolving very quickly as 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to school systems across the country.  Students, teachers, support staff and administration have risen valiantly to the occasion of creating new and successful ways of teaching and servicing the wide range of students.

Uncertainty exists in many facets: virtual learning vs. in-person learning, the long-term state funding formula for virtual students, reclaiming homeschool families and universal access to technology and internet resources.

Yet, students remain first and foremost in every discussion and decision.  

The Tipton School Board should lead the organization toward a culture of exceptionalism through these challenges. We must embrace our community strengths through partnerships and synergies. An “exceptional educational experience” is unique for every student. Our success in exceptionally preparing students for their chosen path will have a multi-generational impact on their lives and the community’s prosperity.

4. If you were elected what one thing would you like to accomplish during your term?

Putting to work my marketing background, I will encourage our school system to “tell its story.” The walls of our schools are bursting with examples of excellence and innovation that need to be published and celebrated. 

As a school community, we are blessed with many desirable traits that are unique to school systems of our size.  We need to inform strategic audiences of what we offer – and how we offer it.  Through the effort of strategic planning, envisioning and goal-setting, we have the opportunity to help retain and expand our student population.  

Our community is geographically poised and positioned for welcoming and embracing new families and students.  In addition to our growing list of community amenities, Tipton has a rich agricultural heritage and a strong corporate manufacturing base.  Our school has plentiful, diverse and rich educational and extra-curricular programs and opportunities to offer new families and students.

We should evaluate every aspect of each of our schools for attractiveness in the eyes and minds of families seeking their new school and “hometown".

5. What legislative action at the state level would you support to improve education in our community. 

The adage that “Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions,” highlights that our professional educators are the lifeblood of the educational system.

An annual Indiana State University survey of 115 Indiana school district superintendents, released in September 2019, found that 92% of participating districts reported a shortage of teachers in 2019.  

In past legislation sessions, varying approaches have been suggested to reduce the shortage: teacher pay premiums or student loan forgiveness for teachers working in schools with high percentages of low-income students or a different system of evaluating teachers performance. 

Additionally, a report from The Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission is due out before the end of the year.  The report contains more than 40 long-term solutions for increasing the state's lagging wages for educators.

Lawmakers must explore long-lasting, significant solutions to address the shortage of teachers entering the field and the early exodus of teachers leaving the profession. The exceptional educational experience that we desire for each of our students depends upon it.